What is TDS and how it is calculated?

What is TDS and how it is calculated?

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) is a system implemented by the Indian government to collect tax revenue at the source of income. It requires the payer to deduct a certain percentage of the payment and remit it to the government on behalf of the recipient. TDS is applicable to various types of payments, including salaries, interest income, rent, professional fees, and more. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding TDS and how it is calculated.

What is TDS?

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refers to the mechanism of deducting tax at the source of income itself. It ensures regular and timely collection of taxes by requiring the payer to deduct a specified percentage of the payment and deposit it with the government. TDS is governed by the Income Tax Act, 1961, and its related rules and regulations.

Calculation of TDS

The calculation of TDS involves several steps and factors, depending on the nature of income and applicable tax rates. Here is a step-by-step guide to understanding how TDS is calculated:

Step 1: Determine the Applicable Rate

The first step is to identify the applicable TDS rate for the particular type of payment. The tax rates are determined by the government and can vary depending on the nature of income and the taxpayer’s category (individual, company, etc.). The applicable rates can be found in the Income Tax Act or the relevant tax circulars issued by the government.

Step 2: Consider Threshold Limits and Exemptions

Certain payments may have threshold limits or exemptions below which TDS is not applicable. For example, in the case of interest income, there is a threshold limit below which TDS is not deducted. Similarly, certain exemptions or deductions may apply to specific types of income, reducing the taxable amount and thus affecting the TDS calculation.

Step 3: Determine the Taxable Amount

After considering any threshold limits and exemptions, the next step is to determine the taxable amount on which TDS will be calculated. For example, in the case of salaries, the taxable amount is the gross salary minus any exemptions or deductions as per the Income Tax Act.

Step 4: Calculate the TDS Amount

Once the taxable amount is determined, the TDS amount is calculated by applying the applicable TDS rate to the taxable amount. For example, if the applicable TDS rate is 10% and the taxable amount is Rs. 50,000, the TDS amount would be Rs. 5,000 (10% of Rs. 50,000).

Step 5: Deduct TDS and Deposit with the Government

The final step is for the payer to deduct the calculated TDS amount from the payment and deposit it with the government within the specified due dates. The payer is also responsible for issuing TDS certificates, such as Form 16 or Form 16A, to the payee as proof of TDS deduction.


Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) is an important aspect of the Indian taxation system, ensuring the regular and timely collection of taxes. By understanding how TDS is calculated, both payers and payees can navigate the TDS landscape effectively. It is crucial for payers to accurately calculate and deduct the TDS amount as per the applicable rates and deposit it within the prescribed timelines. Payees should review their TDS certificates and incorporate them into their tax returns. Consulting with a tax professional or referring to the relevant tax laws and guidelines can provide further clarity on TDS calculations and compliance requirements.

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